Energy ministry raiding parastatals

HARARE - The Energy ministry has been raiding parastatals under its control to sustain its expenditure as Treasury fails to cater for the Samuel Undenge-led ministry, it has emerged.

Auditor and Comptroller General (AG) Mildred Chiri, in notes accompanying her appropriation accounts for the ministry for the year to December 2015, said over $1 million had been raided from several parastatals.

She said while the money might not be considered much, the practise was putting strain on parastatals already struggling, compromising service delivery.

“… the ministry requested and received goods amounting to $525 922 from parastatals under its control, over and above the total expenditure of $1 million incurred in the appropriation account during the year under review.

“The goods were requested and received without Treasury authority contrary to my previous year’s advice that this practice compromises the ministry’s oversight role of monitoring performance of parastatals,” Chiri said.

The ministry got fuel worth $110 000 from the National Oil and Infrastructure Company and more fuel from Petrotrade valued at $57 080.

Institutional provisions, stationary and maintenance vehicles worth $126 167 were procured from the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority as institutional provisions, stationary and maintenance vehicles were procured from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority.

“The ministry should lobby the Finance ministry for adequate funding instead of requesting for goods from parastatals,” she said.

However, the ministry’s management said Treasury had not been able to fund activities leaving the Undenge-led organisation in a desperate position.

“To this end, the ministry ends up requesting for assistance from the State enterprises for these activities to be carried out.

“The donations are disclosed at the end of the financial year and submitted with other returns,” ministry management responded.

During the same period, the ministry — for the second year in succession — failed to include $2,8 million collected from  Mozambique’s Companhia do Pipeline Mocambique Zimbabwe rentals for prior years which were deposited into the Noczim Debt Redemption Fund Account.

The AG said the failure to include the deposited amount was a result of the ministry’s failure to properly budget for rental revenue.

“The ministry should seriously consider audit recommendation and the amount of $2,8 million should be claimed from the Noczim Debt Redemption Fund” the AG said.

Meanwhile, Chiri also uncovered irregular salary and allowance allocations at the Energy ministry  which resulted in $411 616 being spent on two principal executive assistants who were being paid while on leave awaiting redeployment.

“The ministry is paying idle staff thereby causing unjust burden on the fiscus,” the AG said.

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